We got two(ish) sides of the chicken coop built yesterday afternoon, until the snow started and we had to come in. It was fun to work out there with the critters, who were so curious about what we were doing. I was a little worried that the llamas would object to our cutting off some of their view of the sheep, but though they were really interested in watching us closely, they were okay, no humming, so I think it’ll be okay.
We were up at 3:30 this morning, so Frank could leave to catch his plane to go to the funeral. I took my time doing the morning chores, and really enjoyed being out there. We got a pretty interesting lesson in how to check condition on the sheep last weekend, so I wanted to see who would let me feel her back so I could see how they are doing. They are so wooled out because we didn’t shear in the fall, and without cookies to offer, I was having a hard time getting my hands on many of them. I think I want to see if we can do it sometime this weekend.
They are really going through a lot of hay again, and it seems a little early to me for their feed needs to be increasing so much this early in pregnancies. Too fat is as bad as too thin, so I want to be careful, and we might not be able to keep free-feeding hay. I’m afraid it’s not really good quality, though. It’s the best we could get, but it’s pretty stemmy. I keep reminding myself that Icelandics have big hay bellies because they are used to extracting every last nutrient from crap forage.
I screwed up ordering dyes, sadly, and got ones made for cotton instead of wool, so all the dyeing I’d hoped to do this week just hasn’t happened. I re-ordered and it was supposed to get here “first thing” today, and of course it didn’t, so I just went into town and got all of my errands ran, including getting the drywall screws and more 2x4s that we need to finish the coop, at least. My dyes all finally showed up at 6, and Frank’s not due home until 9, so I figured I might as well try it anyway. I’ve been reading about it too long, and want to get my feet wet. I’m itching to spin, too, but really wanted to have some pink yarn for Valerie’s hat.
I hope it comes out okay. After I got everything in the pot, I set the time for an hour, thinking that’s what the directions said. But I think it might be an hour after it comes to a boil, which it still hadn’t done, because there is still a lot of pink dye in there. I like the color, and think Valerie will as well, I hope. I don’t think I dyed enough wool, though. I clearly have loads to learn. I wish I could find a local class.
(Also, I want to find a spinning guild to join. All of the ones near me have disconnected phone numbers listed, or no one calls back, or answers email. Why?)